The Prophets, with one voice, describe this one Kingdom, thus restored, in terms expressive of the most glorious additions.
PROPOSITION 36. The Prophets, with one voice, describe this one Kingdom, thus restored, in terms expressive of the most glorious additions.
They predict, from the Psalmist down to Malachi, a restoration of the identical overthrown Kingdom, linked with the most astounding events, which shall produce a blessedness and glory unexampled in the history of the world. Thus, e.g., the resurrection is united with this restoration, as in Dan. 12:2, Isa. 25:8 (the latter located by Paul, 1 Cor. 15: “then shall be fulfilled the saying written,” etc.), and the new creation is allied with it, as in Isa. 65:17, and 66:22.
Obs. 1. It is, therefore, reasonable to suppose that such remarkable events (as, e.g., the resurrection of the saints, the restitution or recreation) must accompany and be identified with the re-establishment of this Kingdom. The Prophets unite them, and we are not at liberty to separate them; any theory that does this, is certainly unworthy of credence.[*]
Note. Some feel the force of this sufficiently to try and evade it. Thus e.g. Pres. Edwards (His. of Redemp.) endeavors to make out a kind of “new heavens and new earth” now created, but fails in locating it properly, because the descriptions of the prophets are not now realized in the church or earth. The same is true of Swedenborgianism and others, which make the same kind of application to the present. So also with making out a present spiritual resurrection, etc. The only way in which such applications can possibly be made is to forsake the grammatical sense and impose a spiritual or mystical to suit the line of interpretation.
Obs. 2. Since the overthrow of the Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom, these predicted events have not taken place as delineated, and, therefore, the predicted, covenanted Kingdom has not yet appeared (although the multitude, by forsaking the grammatical, and cleaving to the mystical sense, hold to the contrary).
Obs. 3. It is the same Kingdom overthrown that receives those additions, and not another Kingdom that obtains them; hence, no professed Kingdom, however loudly proclaimed and learnedly presented, should, lacking these, be accepted by us.
Obs. 4. Those additions are so great in their nature, so striking in their characteristics, so manifesting the interference of the Supernatural, that no one can possibly mistake when this Kingdom is restored.
Obs. 5. After the downfall of the Davidic Kingdom, the Prophets predict this Kingdom as future. They employ general terms with an allusion to some definite, fixed time, as “in that day,” etc. The only direct allusions to its nearness are contained in the statements that certain events must intervene, and that certain periods of time, then enshrouded in mystery, must elapse previous to its restoration. The prophetical periods themselves were at first necessarily obscure, because many of the events from which they were to be dated were also in the future. But while thus careful in reference to time to conceal it for wise reasons, the same motives did not exist in reference to events, so that the latter are given in lengthy and detailed accounts.[*]
Note. Some may think that the definitive seventy weeks of Daniel form an exception. But this prophecy says nothing (except by implication) of the setting up of the Kingdom; it therefore falls in with the rest, seeing that it only refers to the First Advent, the destruction of the city, and to the desolation which is to follow, even down to the consummation. From other prophecies, however, like Zech. 14, etc., we learn that at the fearful consummation of the end, the Sec. Advent and Kingdom will come. A mystery is thrown around the exact period of desolation, even if (like Baxter, etc.) we divide the last week from the remainder and insert the Times of the Gentiles as intervening, we must, to ascertain explicit knowledge of the Kingdom, refer to other predictions and attach them.
Obs. 6. The Prophets, too, describe this Kingdom as erected, and these additions as made, not by a Saviour coming in humiliation and suffering, but by a Redeemer coming in glory with all His saints, as e.g. Zech. 14:5, Rev. 19:11–16, etc.
Obs. 7. This causes then the singular prophetical procedure, viz.: only a few of the Prophets refer to the First Advent and its mournful particulars, as if conscious (which is strongly intimated) of the rejection of the Messiah and the long-continued downfall of the Kingdom; and, hence, enlarged and vivid descriptions of this restored Kingdom are confined to another and distinctive Advent (which from the New Test. account is designated the Second), which portraiture of the Kingdom has, to this time, not yet been realized. The Sec. Advent, with its glorious additions, its happiness and blessedness, was a more eminently desirable theme of the Spirit than the First, with its mournful consequences. Exceedingly precious as the First is, the Second exceeds it in glory, and, therefore, the latter is pre-eminently “the blessed hope.”
Obs. 8. The results of the First Advent, the accurate fulfilment down to the present day, the personal appropriation of the truths relating to it, impress us with a deep and abiding sense of the reality of that foreknowledge of the future which promises so much connected with a Second coming of the same Jesus.